When you’re heading off on an exciting vacation, often the last thing you’re thinking about is the security of your home. Take a proactive approach and get your house ready before you go with these simple tips. You will enjoy your vacation even more without the worry of what’s happening at home.
1. Cancel deliveries and ask a neighbor to collect your mail
Nothing says “I’m away” more than mail or newspapers piling up. Suspend newspaper deliveries and ask a trusted neighbor or family member to collect your mail. Burglars are likely to scope out a house long before they strike so prevent them from targeting your house and clean out your mailbox.
2. Consider a house sitter
Burglars are getting smarter. It is often not enough to leave a light or tv on these days. If they see no changes in a home they are likely to know you are not home. Consider asking a trusted friend to house sit. They can change the parking arrangements, collect your mail and will naturally use different lights or appliances.
3. Set indoor and outdoor lights on timers or sensors
If you can’t get a house sitter, install timers or sensors on lights. Some will allow you to remotely control the lights from your phone, providing you have internet. Install sensors and timers on outdoor lights to ensure the house is visible from the streets. This will give the illusion of someone being home and will deter burglars.
4. Install security screen doors and windows
To prevent forced entry, install security door and window screens over the glass. High quality mesh can withstand even the strongest force and provides a physical barrier to forced entry. Burglars won’t hesitate to break glass, especially if they can’t see cameras or alarm systems. A second layer of protection over entry points is the best security measure where technology can malfunction. Having these installed can even reduce your insurance premiums.
5. Redirect your phone calls or set an answering machine
Another dead giveaway that no one is home. A constantly ringing phone in a house of silence can indicate no one is there. Set an automatic answering machine to prevent this and keep track of who calls and when. If you can’t live without your phone, redirect the calls to your mobile so you can answer as you like and prevent that constant ringing.
6. Install a smart door lock
A smart door lock allows remote unlocking via a smartphone or provides temporary codes. If you’re worried about lending spare keys, these smart locks are perfect. You can provide the codes to people you expect to be visiting and only they can access it. Once you return home, you can terminate these codes and access so you’re not chasing up spare keys.
A simple yet important tip. If you forget to lock even one door or window, it will render all other security measures useless. Check, double check and triple check every entry point to the house and outbuildings as well. Sheds and garages are often forgotten when you’re too focus on the home.
8. Invest in security cameras
The cost of home security has dropped considerably as technology involves. There are many options for cameras these days and are the best tool in both preventing and aiding in prosecution of home burglary cases. Security cameras are a great deterrent for burglars so ensure they are visible. Some cameras can even be viewed remotely in real time so you can keep an eye on your home from anywhere in the world.
9. Update your home insurance
Ensure your home insurance is up to date before you leave. Often we make investments in items and forget to add them onto the home insurance as we go. Make a note of items that will be in the home and that should be covered by insurance. Prevention is the key but if anything does happen, ensure you are covered for items inside the home and any external doors or windows that are damaged upon entry. It is stressful returning from a holiday and having to fork out for items
10. Install a home alarm
Houses with no alarm system are three times more likely to be burgled than homes with an alarm. Again the cost of these alarms has fallen considerably. Investing in an alarm system gives extra protection and peace of mind while you’re away. Most alarm systems will alert your security company (who will alert police if needed) if the doors and windows are touched. Ensure your alarm keypad is not visible from the window as burglars can easily see if you forgot to set the alarm.